News & Politics

Yes, Unsolicited Dick Pics Are Still Legal in Virginia—For Now

A bill that would make cyber-flashing a misdemeanor in Virginia was killed last week.

Fear not, creepy Virginia dudes—you can still legally send an unsolicited picture of your genitals to people. For now, at least.

A bill that would ban cyber-flashing in Virginia was killed last Wednesday. Cyber-flashing is when someone sends unsolicited explicit photos to another person, and the bill proposed to make it a misdemeanor.

The bill, which was introduced by Del. Kelly Convirs-Fowler of Virginia Beach, passed the House of Delegates via a 99-to-0 vote at the beginning of February. But when it came before the state’s Senate Judiciary Committee last week, an 8-to-5 vote tabled the bill.

The eight politicians who voted “nay” did so due to worries of “an overbroad criminalization of nude images,” reported the Virginia Mercury. One politician who voted against the bill, Senator Chap Petersen of Fairfax, wondered if the bill would “extend to images of Michelangelo’s ‘David,'” according to the story.

While the bill is currently tabled, it doesn’t seem like Convirs-Fowler is giving up: She recently tweeted that “We will be back next year.” She also pointed out on Twitter that all the politicians who voted no against the bill were men: Senator Dick Saslaw, Senator Tommy Norment, Senator Mark Obenshain, Senator Ryan McDougle, Senator Richard Stuart, Senator Chap Petersen, Senator Scott Surovell, and, last but not least, Senator Joe Morrissey, who spent time in jail for having sex with a 17-year-old, from whom he solicited a nude photograph and later forwarded to a friend. (They later married.)

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Mimi Montgomery Washingtonian
Associate Editor

Mimi Montgomery joined Washingtonian in 2018. Her work has appeared in Outside Magazine, Washington City Paper, DCist, and PoPVille. Originally from North Carolina, she now lives in Petworth.